This is a simple version of the classic restaurant style Chinese soup with lots of extra vegetables. The taste is tangy, spicy and incredibly delicious. This soup is gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb with options for paleo and vegetarian.
As we go through the busy holiday season eating soup as a light dinner or quick and easy lunch keeps us in balance. Make up a pot of it and you’ll have easy left overs for a few days.
I love the delicious taste of Hot and Sour Soup at the local Chinese restaurant. But I wanted to make a healthier version without any exotic ingredients and lots of nutritious vegetables. This soup is thickened slightly with arrowroot and finished with the classic egg ribbons swirled into the broth. It can be made with tofu or chicken or just with the vegetables. They are all delicious.
When you make it at home, you can also adapt it to taste as hot or sour as you like.
Ingredients and Substitutions
This version of Hot and Soup Soup has lots of vegetables and a few essential ingredients. This what you need and a few options.
- Shiitake Mushrooms – traditional hot and sour soup is made using dried mushrooms but fresh shiitake’s are easier to find. If those aren’t available you can substitute baby bella or even white button mushrooms.
- Vegetables – I use broccoli, cauliflower cut into florets, thinly sliced napa cabbage, zucchini and carrots cut into match sticks along with onions. Use whatever vegetables you like but I recommend some type of cabbage or Brussels sprouts to give the soup body and carrots for color.
- Aromatics – chopped onions, freshly grated ginger and minced garlic are essential for the rich flavor.
- Broth – either chicken or vegetable broth can be used.
- Fish Sauce – provides a salty, briny, umami taste but you can leave it out if you’re vegetarian.
- Gluten Free Tamari (soy sauce) – flavors the broth, coconut aminos can be substituted.
- Arrowroot – to thicken the soup, tapioca can be substituted.
- Pastured Eggs – are whisked, and then swirled into the soup to make the classic egg ribbons.
- White Vinegar – is the sour in the vegetable hot and sour soup. It has a distinctive taste but apple cider vinegar will also work, you may need to add extra.
- White Pepper – is the hot in the vegetable hot and sour soup. It has a unique and strong flavor. Start out with a little, you can always add more. If don’t have white pepper, black pepper will be okay.
- Chicken or Tofu (optional) – are good for extra protein. If using tofu choose organic, extra firm. Pork or tempeh can be substituted. These are optional but make the soup heartier.
- Cilantro and Scallions – add flavor and is a nice garnish.
- Avocado Oil – to saute the vegetables, it has a mild taste. Refined coconut oil or ghee will also work.
Tips for Making Vegetable Hot and Sour Soup
- Make a slurry with the tamari and arrowroot. Make sure it’s well combined as the arrowroot tends to settle at the bottom. Stir your soup while drizzling in the slurry to prevent clumping. Simmer 30 seconds to thicken. (You can make/add more arrowroot slurry if you like your soup thicker, but don’t use too much).
- Don’t overcook the vegetables. They only need a few minutes. Add the carrots and cauliflower first then the rest.
- Add the chicken along with the vegetables. If using tofu add it at the end.
- Stir the beaten eggs into the hot soup in a thin stream while stirring to create the egg ribbons rather than clumps. They will start cooking immediately, they only need about 1 minute.
- Start with a small amount of white pepper, it’s strong.
- Adjust tastes for your own preference. For more hot add extra white pepper. If you like more sour, put in more white vinegar.
Serving and Storing the Soup
Serve alone for dinner or enjoy it with quinoa, rice or salad. It makes 4 large portions. Leftovers make a fantastic nutritious lunch.
Store leftover hot and sour soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It’s doesn’t freeze well because of the eggs.
This soup is satisfying, nutritious and incredibly delicious! You’ll love the vibrant taste and silky texture.
It’s simple to make even with all the vegetables. No exotic ingredients, everything can be found in your supermarket.
If you like this recipe, try these other delicious nutritious soups:
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This is a simple version of the classic restaurant style Chinese soup with lots of extra vegetables. The taste is tangy, spicy and incredibly delicious.
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
- 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1” ginger, grated
- 6 cups chicken bone broth or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional, leave out for vegetarian)
- 2 large carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 cups broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 ½ cups napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into matchsticks
- 6 ounces chicken breasts cut into cubes or 1 cup firm tofu (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons gluten free tamari or ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 1 Tablespoon arrowroot
- 3 pastured eggs, beaten in a small bowl and set aside
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced, more for garnish
- 1/2 cup Cilantro chopped, more for garnish
- Heat a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium-low heat and add oil.
- Add onions and mushrooms and cook until the onions and mushrooms have softened 5-8 minutes.
- Add garlic and ginger, cook 1 minute.
- Add broth and fish sauce. Turn heat up to high.
- Add carrots and cauliflower. Bring to a boil.
- Add broccoli, cabbage, zucchini and chicken if using.
- Simmer 3-4 minutes until vegetables are just cooked through.
- In a small bowl whisk together arrowroot and tamari or coconut aminos. Add to soup while stirring. Simmer 30 seconds.
- Add the beaten eggs to the boiling pot, stirring to create ribbons. Cook about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and add vinegar, white pepper and tofu if using.
- Add scallions, cilantro, saving a few for garnish.
- Taste to adjust seasoning and serve immediately with additional scallions and cilantro as garnish.
Nutrition information is with chicken and chicken bone broth.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Low Carb
Keywords: hot and sour soup, vegetable hot and sour soup, nourishing soup, healthy soup